The session went well. She's a "lawyer's lawyer" and has handled some very difficult divorce cases for partners in prestigious firms. Also good looking. Some highlights:
* No reason for me not to move out given our situation. Shouldn't affect custody issues. Yay! This is what I want. I want a new place and a new life for me and the boys. I won't let the fact that she also prefers this dissuade me.
* She (the attorney) made a strong case for a "Collaborative Process" which is something STBX and I both would favor. It means having a team of therapists, attorneys, and financial planners help us negotiate a deal to be rubber stamped by the courts, rather than rely on litigation and a judge to determine our fates. This is something WW and I both wanted from the start so I hope it works. As long as both sides tell the truth and negotiate in good faith (ahem), it should be the best path. If it doesn't work, the fallback is traditional scorched-earth nuclear war.
* No doubt that we're both going to have to make some very hard financial choices but that's life. We're still better off than many, and I'm very grateful for that.
* There's a range of custody issues. For sure we'll have joint legal custody. The physical custody side is likely to need some negotiation but my assumption is close to 50/50.
Personally I'm still feeling waves of emotion, crests of anger and troughs of sadness. Last night was really bad. But in between I feel good about the future, for me, the kids, and even STBXWW. No longer worrying about whether she'll change in this way or that way is a very liberating feeling. She can face her demons or not, no longer my problem.
When my STBX destroys a marriage, she destroys it all the way. In a way it's better this way, no ambiguity. Would have been so easier for all of us just to serve me with papers back in November, but she didn't have the strength of character for that. Too bad.
[This message edited by mhca at 3:20 PM, August 6th (Wednesday)]
Sample recovery plan, feedback welcome: http://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=539961
Happy for you even though I know it's sad. Go ahead and prepare your move. Expect for her to hoover you during it, half-change her mind, and act crazy. Be very wary of her accusing you of something during this transition, particularly if she starts seeing that she may not get what she thinks she deserves (in fact, I'd recommend having moved out before your next L visit). DV accusations by WWs are common, apparently.
Don't expect for her to actually be that collaborative as the process drags on - she may be doing it out of guilt right now. If she's the entitled type (and an A pretty much proves she is), she may start saying she'll be collaborative to manipulate and then go nuclear at the earliest opportunity or as soon as you talk "off script" (mine wanted collaborative D until she saw me secure a L to redline and discuss negotiations. Then she went off, lawyered up, and went for the jugular, for my "sin" of securing my own legal representation). If your stbx is the angry type, expect flare-ups like this and be prepared. Many Ds start collaborative and then go sour.
I do physical custody very successfully, considering. I was able to keep the peace long enough to secure 50/50 without a custody battle. 50/50 has served to detach and focus on my kids instead of her or what happens in her household. I wish she did the same courtesy to me. The day will come.
Go collaborative and maybe the $ you save you can both use to sue the "licensed marriage therapist" who suggested an A would be a good idea.
Be wary of emotional and financial abuse at this point. If she has narcissistic traits (and it's very common on those having As) she will transfer the narcissistic supply focus to the kids when you are not there to be the focus of her brokenness. This will manifest by her demanding "everything" and hiding behind the kids to get it, essentially attempting to become "Disney mom" with your money and not doing much to fix her own life. Expect lots of accusations, all of which "could be solved if you just gave me more money". Firm but fair.
This is an attempt to move the standard of living status quo in her favor more and more, until you have nothing left to live on.
Care for your kids in your time well, but don't assume she will, as she may find it as a "do whatever I want" card and start just leaving them with babysitters while she dates, or otherwise repeat her undesirable patterns of conduct, without anybody there to even slow her down.
If you haven't learned how to cook, do. It's fun to cook for the kids and it gives them a "family life" feel while they grow up, plus they eat healthier. To me eating at the house with the fam, and smelling food cooking in the kitchen always meant "home".
Good luck, man
I know this is hard but you're doing it. Last leg of the rollercoaster then you can get off.
I hope that whatever agreement you finalize does not just put you in a financial bind and allows her to keep the house permanently. It is one thing to move out now to get away from her. You are the primary bread winner, and unless she can somehow buy you out, you should not let her have the house after what she did to you and your marriage. you have a life to live also and although you apparently have a good income, you should not be living way bellow your means and her be totally comfortable as if nothing ever happened.
You are going to have these down times. If you did not, with all you put in trying to reason with her, it would not be normal. But just think of the alternative. After the July incident, and her attitude, would living like you did the past year be better???
I can't tell you how long it will take to make this nightmare be gone from your thoughts, but it will. And the quicker you only have to have contact with her for anything but child issues the better because it will not be long once the reality sinks in before she starts searching for ego kibbles again from other men. She needed it while you were married, so expect it and be prepared. My guess is she will not be telling all her prospective new boyfriends about what will happen to them if they piss her off now that she is a seasoned AM veteran.
Better them than you
How is the WW taking the fact that you are following through? Is she still talking R or has she accepted what's coming? I know she's away right now, must at least be good to not have her as a constant trigger!
We tried to go the dissolution route, but you can't negotiate with terrorists, so I filed for D.
Don't hesitate to bail on the collaborative thing if she even hits at being uncooperative. Life's too short. Kwim?
I've been lurking on some other forums (I know, other than SI, crazy, right?) and there seems to be a huge chorus of people saying never move out before the initial court custody order. Seems like a bunker mentality.
I'm trying to figure out if this is just raving of people who were screwed over extra-bad in their D and they're just being paranoid (I guess I should have been more paranoid all along though.)
FWIW she's now saying she probably wants to move out soon too.
I can see staying if you want to stay, since the A wasn't the BS's doing, but what if you want to move? I don't see that I lose much leverage but I'm such a newbie at this. But I'm ready to move on...
Too much stress!
[This message edited by mhca at 9:38 PM, August 6th (Wednesday)]
Not sure what forums you are on and I am no expert but it seems to be more prudent to follow the advice that most are giving on those forums. I know you attorney said it probably does not matter, but what do YOU have to gain by abandoning your home to her . Let her leave .
After what you have been through, is it not better to be careful and stay there until you know how this is going to at out tan leave and hope for the best.
I know you want a change of scenery but this will not take forever. Let her enjoy herself in a small apartment or condo.
Learn from your mistake at not following the "experts" who have been down the path that you are on.
I understand that you want to get this done quickly and in a collaborative way but IMHO you are making this too easy for her. Where are the consequences? Yes divorce is a consequence of her actions but so is losing the lifestyle.
Have her move out. She needs to get used to her ordinary world not being ordinary anymore. Once the divorce is done you might feel differently about the house. She needs to see and feel the changes asap as she is the one who broke the marriage.
Also, the kids still need some stability during this process. Isn't it better to get used to one new house versus 2 new houses? (I am assuming that both of you will be getting new places)
They already have to deal with the emotions of divorced parents but do they have to get used to new living environments at the same time?
Please think about this.
I guess there's no real hurry. Since my bedroom is downstairs and the rest of the house is upstairs I'm somewhat isolated anyway. There is a different feel when WW and I are both in the house though. Like the tension is hanging in the air. Maybe that's temporary since emotions are so high right now.
Breathe deep, carry on...
WW has a "college friend" coming into town in a couple weeks and is planning an overnight, I presume in a downtown hotel. I guess she's not losing any time. It's a strange feeling. I don't have any problem with her fucking around right now since we're done - if that's what she wants to do - but it seems strange. Maybe in response to my match.com profile? Dunno. I hope this guy isn't married whoever he is. Maybe it's a girlfriend but somehow I doubt it. I bet over time my give-a-shit level on this sort of think will continue to fall.
GotPlayed: Thx for the advice. And I'd love to sue the woman who clearly holds the title for "world's shittiest marriage and family therapist." But since it was just her and my WW chatting in a bar and not really a professional setting I don't thing that would work. (Also, I did check the state's licensing board but no ethical standards apply because of that.) Nice to think about though.
If she did this since you finally told her you were through, she is just trying to hurt you by giving you a reminder as to how easy it is for a woman to get laid. No big deal. She is not doing anything that any one with a vagina could not do
I am also moving to sever my relationship (we were living common-law, so we can't "divorce").
You're doing great and are an inspiration for me as we go through this together.
DDay - June 7, 2014
Me - 43
WW - 41
DD - 6 and 3
Pulling the Plug
ChangeMaker: Thanks for the compliment. Nice to hear I can be an inspiration to anyone in this state of mind. BTW: Are you near Toronto? If so, would you kindly burn down the Ashley Madison HQ building for me? Thanks much.
So all this is progress at least. But I'm still pissed that I have to do all this work (and spend all these legal fees) as punishment for WW blowing our fucking lives apart. I still can't wrap my head around how she could have done that. Looking for an answer, I peeked at her AM profile. This was a bad idea: the words she wrote make me want to vomit.
As I put it to the lawyer, "[WW] committed a premeditated act of violence on our marriage and now we all have to suffer for it - including the children."
Just feeling pissed off today.
Not a bad thing to be pissed off. Maybe that way you will not make any silly concessions to her by being a good guy. Whichever lawyer you get, I hope like hell you tell them to go for the jugular and give her as little as possible.
Interesting. She was supposed to be in R with you and let's see
(1) has burner number with OM
(2) obviously been communicating without your knowledge with her college friend she has her overnight with coming up
(3) had not removed the Ashley Madison profile. Probably so she could swing into action again once you became complacent
If I were you I would make her life so miserable in that house that she would want to get the hell out of there. You of course are too nice a guy to do that. If I were in your shoes she would not even want to come downstairs when I was in the house.
You are lucky that you made the choice to get rid of her for good
Her AM profile is still up? That's just so wrong.
Find the best attorney and take care of yourself and your sons.
Though much is taken, much abides; and though we are not now that strength which in old days
moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are
"[WW] committed a premeditated act of violence on our marriage and now we all have to suffer for it - including the children."
I think this is a great quote to remember on the days this gets hard or when your memories of how you saw your wife before AM takes over even for a split second. Especially where your kids are concerned. I know you have said more then once that she is a good mother, my WH has been a really great father too, yet we have a written agreement that should he ever cheat on me again then I will have full ability to control how much our children have to do with him. I would rather they have very little to do with a broken dad then grow up thinking and learning that his brokenness is acceptable or normal. Remember you get to distance yourself from your stbxww but your kids will have a strong relationship with her forever. My WH's IC believes that he learnt much of his behaviour from his father through vicarious learning. He isn't an evil guy but incredibly selfish in many many ways. Just some food for thought as you go through this divorce. I'm not quite on Bathurst bandwagon for taking everything you can, but hope you don't get generous. I think the anger is good in that sense! Anyway, just food for thought!
I would pressure her to leave and agree to a mediated divorce. Threaten that you will inform the kids/friends and family about her treachery and betrayal if she does not agree; don't be the honorable guy who allows this immoral woman to take any more advantage of you than she already has. Play dirty if you have to.
Life out there for a single woman with children is not as rosy as she imagines. I have many divorced friends who bitterly regret the breakup of their marriages. Plenty of sex around, but precious little genuine love and affection.
I picture in my mind her getting in her car to drive to the first AM date. Short skirt and fishnets. Probably had some flirty online chat leading up to it. The moment of truth. She turns the key and drives. Did she hesitate? Did she think about what this would do to me and this kids? Probably not. Mind movies suck.
My only comfort is that maybe the M was untenable anyway, and the main thing the A did was to inform me of something that I needed to know about her. But still, could have done without the six months of protracted gas lighting and heartbreak. I can understand if we weren't going to work out. I can't understand the backstabbing she used to accomplish it.
To clarify though, the AM profile is in an evidence folder I saved. She no longer has an account there (at least I hope not!)
[This message edited by mhca at 10:09 AM, August 9th (Saturday)]
I first want to commend you for being as strong as you have been throughout this nightmare. Yes, she should have been more "honorable" and asked for a divorce. Intead, she got to cake eat, which was perhaps her plan.
Now, with D firmly in your mind and her no longer to manipulate you, she is resorting to trying to hurt and destroy you further. She informs you that she has a weekend "date" with college friend..pulease. You and all others know what this is. She shoves this in your face? WTF!!!!!!
Time to bring some serious PAIN to her. Send the AM profile to her parents, out her to all her friends, inform DS15 of A (no details tho) In other words, get the facts out there. I do understand that a mediated divorce is best, but do you really think it won't come to scorched earth? IMO not a chance given her behavior the past nine months. In some states, this could be used to make her and unfit mother.
Make her move out NOW. Get a pre divorce agreement in place ASAP as to "support" for her, kids joint custody, freeze finances, etc. I would see if you can get a stipulation that when she has them NO MEN can be present until the divorce is final.
Finally, in regards to STBXWW, I would not be surprised if she were diagnosed with clinical depression. I dealt with this with my mother for many years (not the cheating stuff) Check out Suzy Favor Hamilton's story on radar online. Olympian, wife, mother, successful business woman..became a high priced call girl.
Stay as strong as you continue and DETAC